Monday, June 11, 2007

Custom List Bug

While our Custom Lists are now significantly better than before, they're still not perfect. Just this morning, as we were exploring why there is some real wonkiness in that search box, and what you can do when the movie you want to add doesn't show up, we discovered an unusual bug that can make it very frustrating to add movies to your list.

Being the clever folks that we are over here in Community, we pilfered some existing work the Search guys were building that automatically fills in the name of the movie you start to type. While it works well for search terms (what it was built for), it is appears to be hit-and-miss in the case that there are multiple movies with the same title. (I was trying to add "Swiss Family Robinson" to a custom list and found it impossible to hit the 1960s Disney version, and kept hitting some lousy cartoon). Apparently, fixing this is not going to happen overnight - and while it is a drag, in many cases you'd never notice it. Anyway, the workaround we humbly offer is that we'll make sure you can always go to a movie page and add the movie to one of your lists directly from there. (It's the way this feature used to work). I'll let you know when it's available, but we're working on it now. And in the long run, we'll fix the way the custom list creation works to address this, and a few other little problems along the way. From all of us to all of you, sorry.


  1. I love Netflix's Custom Lists. But why is this capability hidden now? I used to see a button on the movie details page and could easily add it to a custom list. Now all I can find is a button to create a new custom list. I've looked around for a button to add to an existing custom list but can't find one. Is that because too many users were using the feature for Queue Overflow lists? Why not just create a separate list for possible rentals, ones to consider later?

  2. Are they supposed to stay in order? And if so, do you guys know that they're not?

  3. michael, from netflixJune 18, 2007 at 9:25 AM

    Yes, they're supposed to be order-able, and yes, it's not working right at this moment. We're working on that.

  4. To Patrick,
    On the right side, pick the list you want to add to.
    Scroll down a little and find the "Add Movies" field.
    Begin typing your movie and select it from the dropdown that will appear.
    Hit the plus sign.
    Don't forget to hit save at the end of the list.

    To Netflix,
    This functionality is OK for someone that wants to add a few movies quickly, but I hate this change.
    I want to add to my custom lists quickly. The way you can do it at Amazon with wish lists. Anything less than how amazon is doing it is sub-par. They have wish lists down. There, from the Item's page, you simply click on the list from a drop down of custom lists that you wish to add to. New list would be the last option.

  5. there is still a bug in custom lists - I was trying to add It's a Gift & It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and when I put in It's a, nothing happens, so I can't add either of those movies.

  6. Go to the movie page and add it from there. New feature this week. It's not great, but it works.

  7. Is there any list of the custom lists? I'd love an index of them so I could look through them by subject or at least name.

  8. Michael, I realize that this is an old thread, so you're probably the only one who will ever read this post, but I found a bug with the custom lists today that I thought you should be aware of (if you aren't already).

    I realized today that a couple of the movies in one of my lists weren't correct because I'd accidentally added a different movie with the same title (the same problem you mentioned with Swiss Family Robinson), so I set out to fix the problem by adding the correct movies from the link on the left side of the movie pages. After adding the correct movies, I went to edit my list so I could reorder it and remove the incorrect movies. When I did that, it incorrectly deleted one of the movies I had just added. Specifically, I deleted movies number 6 (Fight Club) and 12 (High Fidelity), and renumbered numbers 31 (High Fidelity) and 32 (Fight Club) to 12 and 6, respectively. When I saved the changes and refreshed the list, the two movies I deleted were gone, the correct High Fidelity was in spot 11, and the correct Fight Club was gone. I did this several times with different pairs of movies on different lists, but my results were consistent in that one of the two movies that was supposed to be reordered was also deleted.